LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to Lord Holland, 10 September 1812

Life of Byron: to 1806
Life of Byron: 1806
Life of Byron: 1807
Life of Byron: 1808
Life of Byron: 1809
Life of Byron: 1810
Life of Byron: 1811
Life of Byron: 1812
Life of Byron: 1813
Life of Byron: 1814
Life of Byron: 1815
Life of Byron: 1816 (I)
Life of Byron: 1816 (II)
Life of Byron: 1817
Life of Byron: 1818
Life of Byron: 1819
Life of Byron: 1820
Life of Byron: 1821
Life of Byron: 1822
Life of Byron: 1823
Life of Byron: 1824
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“Cheltenham, September 10th, 1812.

“The lines which I sketched off on your hint are still, or rather were, in an unfinished state, for I have just committed them to a flame more decisive than that of Drury. Under all the circumstances, I should

* For the first day or two, at Middleton, he did not join his noble host’s party till after dinner, but took his scanty repast of biscuits and soda water in his own room. Being told by somebody that the gentleman above-mentioned had pronounced such habits to be “effeminate,”

362 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1812.
hardly wish a contest with Philo-drama—Philo-Drury—Asbestos,
H * *, and all the anonymes and synonymes of the Committee candidates. Seriously, I think you have a chance of something much better; for prologuizing is not my forte, and, at all events, either my pride or my modesty won’t let me incur the hazard of having my rhymes buried in next month’s Magazine, under ‘Essays on the Murder of Mr. Perceval,’ and ‘Cures for the Bite of a Mad Dog,’ as poor Goldsmith complained of the fate of far superior performances.

“I am still sufficiently interested to wish to know the successful candidate; and, amongst so many, I have no doubt some will be excellent, particularly in an age when writing verse is the easiest of all attainments.

“I cannot answer your intelligence with the ‘like comfort,’ unless, as you are deeply theatrical, you may wish to hear of Mr. * *, whose acting is, I fear, utterly inadequate to the London engagement into which the managers of Covent-garden have lately entered. His figure is fat, his features flat, his voice unmanageable, his action ungraceful, and, as Diggory says, ‘I defy him to extort that d—d muffin face of his into madness.’ I was very sorry to see him in the character of the ‘Elephant on the slack rope;’ for, when I last saw him, I was in raptures with his performance. But then I was sixteen,—an age to which all London then condescended to subside. After all, much better judges have admired, and may again; but I venture to ‘prognosticate a prophecy’ (see the Courier) that he will not succeed.

“So, poor dear Rogers has stuck fast on ‘the brow of the mighty Helvellyn’—I hope not for ever. My best respects to Lady H.—her departure, with that of my other friends, was a sad event for me, now reduced to a state of the most cynical solitude. ‘By the waters of Cheltenham I sat down and drank, when I remembered thee, oh Georgiana Cottage! As for our harps, we hanged them up upon the willows that grew thereby. Then they said, Sing us a song of Drury-lane,’ &c.—but I am dumb and dreary as the Israelites. The waters

he resolved to show the “fox-hunter” that he could be, on occasion, as good a bon-vivant as himself, and, by his prowess at the claret next day, after dinner, drew forth from Mr. C * * the eulogium here recorded.

A. D. 1812. LIFE OF LORD BYRON. 363
have disordered me to my heart’s content,—you were right, as you always are.

“Believe me ever your obliged
“and affectionate servant,